The American population is 300-million and counting. The American population used to be composed of mostly English Protestants, a few English Roman Catholics, a few French Catholics and Protestants, Dutch Protestants and starting in the 1700s, Germans, mostly Catholic Germans.
Lest we forget, at the nation’s founding there were also a large number of Africans and their families, almost all slaves. They, of course, were not citizens, nor were they able to be citizens even if free.
In the mix, a Spaniard named Jordi Farragut (George Farragut) came to America, fought as an American Navy lieutenant in the Revolutionary War and fathered a boy named James, later to become David Farragut, the greatest naval hero of the American Civil War.
Between Lieutenant George Farragut’s naval service and Admiral David Farragut’s service almost a century later, the United States made war on Mexico. When it won, it absorbed territory larger than most countries, the territory we now call the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.
With that annexation, Mexicans north of the Rio Grande River automatically became Americans. A dozen years later, these former Mexicans organized themselves into battalions of the Union Army to fight for America in the Civil War. Combined with Union militia from New Mexico Territory and what is now Colorado they trounced the Confederate invasion of New Mexico and sent the Confederates back to Texas on foot, without food, weapons or even shoes.
From 1848 on, then, Mexicans have been an integral part of the American community before, in fact, the Italians, many of the Irish, Germans, the Poles and Russians. Some didn’t come here as they were already here because the border literally crossed them. In fact, until the 1920s there was no border and Mexicans could come and go as they pleased and they did.
Then, in 1923-24, the raging predominate political climate in the country was anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish and, of course, Jim Crow “separate but equal” Black. Two distinct and powerful groups, the Ku Klux Klan with millions of members and an influential cabal of racial purity types known for their theories of eugenics (racial breeding), led the political climate.
Eugenicists hate Mexicans because Mexicans are a combination of white European and Amerindian blood. They hate anyone not of pure European white blood.
The Congress of the United States, including one woman and one Black, was heavily influenced by these two groups and the immigration door was slammed shut on Italian Catholics, Jewish Poles and Russians and myriad other Mediterranean types. Swarthy Europeans, Jews and Catholics, were the primary target of the Ku Klux Klan and its numerous allies.
Mexicans, however, were the number one targets of the eugenicists. Never in American history had Mexicans been denied free access to the United States until Congress made them instant illegal aliens in 1924. It even chartered the Border Patrol that year to “guard” the Mexican border.
Ex-Texas Rangers were hired, who, in the grand corrupt tradition of the Rangers rounded up Mexicans as they emerged from the Rio Grande and sold them to ranchers for .50 cents apiece. They also received federal paychecks to supplement their rancher finder’s fees.
For the next thirty years, Mexicans were treated like lice in Texas, Colorado, Arizona and California. In sunny California Mexicans were forced to attend segregated schools until 1947.
In Texas, an all-white jury convicted a Mexican man named Hernandez of murder. He appealed his conviction because no Mexicans served on his jury despite their numerous numbers in his county s population.
Texas argued that it didn’t discriminate against Mexican defendants, that Mexicans could serve on juries. Mr. Hernandez showed the United States Supreme Court that, in fact, though there were plenty of Mexicans in the county, none had ever served as jurors in a criminal trial, ever.
Mr. Hernandez made history when the Supreme Court threw out his conviction and ruled that Mexicans in Texas were to be defined forevermore as a “discrete class.” (Hernandez v. Texas, 1954) That means that Mexicans in the United States were a “group,” an ethnic group that had been officially discriminated against.
This was not the first time Texas had picked on Mexicans. After the American civil war, Texas refused to enforce civil rights laws backed up by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. It refused to treat Mexicans as U.S. citizens, even if born in the United States (14the Amendment).
In Texas v. White (1870), the Court threw out the Texas contention that Mexicans couldn’t be citizens. Texas believed that when they were so declared in 1848 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war with Mexico the immigration laws in 1848 prohibited anyone not “free and White” from becoming a citizen.
Thus, Texas reasoned Mexican could not be or become United States citizens.
The Court ruled that the Treaty had the force of the Constitution and that any treaty and the Constitution took precedence and supremacy over any congressional act. Thus, it ruled, Texas was wrong.
We find ourselves today in a situation that draws from the Texas experiences with the Supreme Court and with the flaming rage of the 1920s fired by the then powerful Ku Klux Klan and the cabal of people with a purely racial basis for ethnic hatred of Mexicans.
And, they are everywhere. Former President Jimmy Carter, a proud Georgia Democrat White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP), is quoted in an August, 1996 New York Daily News article saying:
I see nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained. – Jimmy Carter
He was elected President three months later and managed not to find a single Mexican American to serve in his government above the rank of Navy secretary.
The man who defeated him four years later, President Ronald Reagan then his successor President George H.W. Bush, Republicans both, managed to find two Mexican Americans to serve in their cabinets.
Look carefully at those screaming in opposition to the Senate s comprehensive immigration reform bill, to those opposing the President who supports it and to anyone who supports it outside the government. Look and listen to what they say, their words, and, the mass hysteria they manifest.
Example, look at cute commentator Ann Coulter who offers the possibility that illegals from Mexico will get affirmative action entry into American colleges ahead of deserving American citizens. This while she and her kind complain that illegals from Mexico aren’t high school graduates. She and they want it both ways. So, she screams!
Opponents scream treason, they scream open-borders, they scream sovereignty they scream about Mexico They scream!
They scream when reasonable people look at them and see them for and call them what they are, racist.
A cosmic race, or as some are prone to say, LA RAZA, but certainly not Irish, English, German, French, other Northern European or like the descendents of African slaves. Mexicans are not like the screamers.
These people call themselves Minutemen, Immigration reformers/activists and patriots but they are properly called racist like their 1920s antecedents.
Unfortunately, members of the Congress of the United States are among their ranks.
Editor’s Note: Originally published June 6, 2006 and still relevant today! All opinion’s expressed are the author’s, and not necessarily those of Cafe Con Leche Republicans. Reposted with author’s permission – original link.
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official(1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available on Amazon.com.